Deputies on Saturday reunited with two of three women they rescued from atop Mount Baldy last month when the group got stranded while hiking.
The women had made it to the top of the mountain July 9 and were trying to find a shorter trail down when they got lost. Eventually losing the trail and running out of water, they called 911 for help.
One of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies on the rescue team, Deputy Sheriff Garrick Twedt, said rescuers were able to quickly get to the three women because they had provided them with latitude and longitude coordinates and they stayed at that spot until the team arrived.
Deputies arrived to find the women at an altitude of about 9,100 feet, standing on a slope. It made for a long and challenging rescue, Twedt said, but they were able to hoist all three women up to the rescue aircraft.
On Sunday, two of the women met with the deputies who rescued them, gifting them cards and desserts to thank them.
“These amazing guys from Air 5 came and found us, and when we saw the helicopter, it was such a relief,” Carly Rivera of Mission Viejo said. “It was hope in a hopeless situation.”
The women said the trail had disappeared as they were trying to make their way down and they were stranded for hours while they tried to get back on the right path.
“It was extremely scary, I think probably the scariest situation in my life I’ve ever been in,” Rivera said.
The women said that after the rescue, they wanted to make sure they took any opportunity to thank the first responders.
“This is something that they don’t really get recognized for a lot. And they really should — like they’re saving lives,” Rivera said.
Twedt said his time working on rescue operations has been very rewarding.
“It really makes you think how important of a role that you have and the positive impact that you can have on people’s lives, and we’re very fortunate to be in this position,” Twedt said.
Twedt offered advice to those planning to go on a hike: “If you’re unfamiliar or if you’re an inexperienced hiker, go with somebody that has experience and has been in the area. Make sure you do your research.”
The deputy also recommended hikers make sure they have enough food and water, and that they notify someone that they will be going on a hike and what time they expect to be back.
Also, hikers should make sure they have the ability to make contact to call for help if they’re injured or if they are lost since it’s a remote area, he said.